February’s product improvements

Community Veteran
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We’re always trying to make Thumbtack better, so that pros like you can be successful. A critical part of that is your feedback and all the great ideas you’ve shared on the Community. We’re listening to you, and we’re working on turning many of your ideas into new product features.

So starting now, we’ll be posting a list of what’s changed in the product each month, at the end of the month. Check back on this board regularly for the latest and greatest updates.

Don’t see your idea on this list? That doesn’t mean we aren’t working on it. Some features are much more complicated than they seem and take time to implement. Have other ideas? Reply below to share your suggestion and you may see it in a future update!

Major updates for pros in February:

  • Specify what’s included in your base prices: You will now have much more control and flexibility to select what's included in your prices, adding or removing items from your base price so that customers can get an accurate estimate. We know that we previously didn’t always allow pros to accurately represent how they do jobs on Thumbtack, whether it was promising things they didn’t offer, or not informing customers of everything already included in the price.  This update allows for more flexible selection and display of what’s included in your prices. We know that every business on Thumbtack is different, and we want you to be able to show you’re different. That includes your pricing. Check out this new example below:Feb1.png

     

  • Saved replies: You will now have the ability to save the responses you send to customers - especially those responses you use most frequently. With this update, you’ll be able to reuse responses, instead of spending time writing the same response over and over again. This will also help you respond more quickly, which customers appreciate and which makes them more likely to hire you. Learn more about saved replies here.
  • Profile score improvements: We’ve made some changes to the profile score to help pros better understand what they can do to improve. Some of these changes include redefining the weights of profile fields, adding new profile fields into the score (like past projects, social media fields, payment methods, etc.), and making the profile score more category specific.  Learn more about these changes here.

Smaller changes for pros:

  • Unread Inbox message count on iOS app: We used to show the total number of unread Inbox messages and new jobs in the Jobs tab. However, we heard from you that it’s more helpful to only show the number unread Inbox messages. We made that change. And if all the messages in your Inbox are read and there’s a new job in the Jobs tab, you’ll see a dot letting you know.
  • Understanding the competition: We’re now letting pros know if there is a unique opportunity to be the first pro in your market to promote your business on Thumbtack. Get a head start on the competition. Learn more about promoting your business here.Feb2.png
  • Down-ranking pros with $1 prices: Pros who list their starting price as $1 will now rank lower in search results. So list your accurate prices -- customers want to see an actual estimate.
  • Removing notifications when a customer views your offer: You will no longer be notified when a customer views your offer. Instead, you will receive a notification once the customer reaches out to you. We want to help you focus on your interactions with customers once they contact you, because that’s when you can continue the conversation, seal the deal, and win the job!

Again, we would love to hear your other ideas. Reply below and let us know what you’d like to see on this list next month!

63 responses
Community Expert

@JasonB 

Thanks for posting. Just a few comments and then my suggestions below.

You closed the thread by saying "Again, we would love to hear your other ideas. Reply below and let us know what you’d like to see on this list next month!"  In the beginning of the thread you said "Don’t see your idea on this list? That doesn’t mean we aren’t working on it. Some features are much more complicated than they seem and take time to implement." Please don't take this wrong, but it sounds like you are contradicting yourself. You say first that if we don't see our ideas on this list it could mean that it's being worked on, then you say you would love to see our other ideas. So, are our ideas for over 4 months being worked on? Or are they forgotten?

I've given many suggestions, as did other Pros, some more recently in a private message and phone conversations. Guess we will have to wait to see if some/any/all of my ideas along with other Pros will be implemented.

As for the base price, hasn't that been available? I've seen in my services, and set pricing accordingly. But seems customers don't see it because when I had Promote on I received many conversations starters "What's your estimate?"

Saved replies? I don't copy/paste for every customer. I'm personable and send personable messages. This doesn't affect me, at least I hope not.

Another link for profile scores. We all know how to improve our profiles, etc.

**Now here are my ongoing suggestions which many reps/moderators have said it's great and feedback was passed on . Let's see if it goes further from here. If not, then I know I'm only being pacified to write some things.

1)****How about not charging us for conversation starters, but instead, after we get that starter--we have time to review customer profile, lead cost and event info, THEN get charged after we send that message, not before!

2)Keep the customer viewed for us to see!!! WHY WAS THAT TAKEN AWAY? Because it will help us focus on interactions with customers? What if customer never reaches out to us? Having us see if customer viewed us was/IS important. We would see if a customer viewed our offer then reach out. I know it helped me because I was able to send a message after seeing if my initial quote was viewed, and because of that message, I won many of those leads in the past. Now you, maybe not you personally, but Thumbtack  has taken that away from me and I'm sure many Pros feel the same way too! Thought changes were supposed to help us. Or am I missing something?    This gives us a chance to reach out to those customers, and not sit back and wait as Promote is doing to us.

Those are my suggestions and comments

Thanks for giving me the chance to comment and share my ideas, yet again.

 

Active Community Member
Jason,

Some of this sounds good but please let us know when a customer views quotes so we can immediately follow up. This is a proven way to close a sale.

Also can you please email us when jobs are posted and while your at it email us when monthly updates are posted. This should be very easy to implement.

Thanks
Active Community Member

@JasonB , thanks for the updates.  I appreciate the effort to better communicate and be more transparent about changes.  I have a few suggestions/questions based on the info you shared.

  • Again, I appreciate the updates to share what's been changed; however, I think it's even more beneficial to provide these types of updates or releases to your user community before they're implemented.  Like here's what's coming this month or here's what's in the pipeline (even if a release date hasn't been determined).  This helps avoid confusion and us users finding out these changes randomly as we're navigating the ever-changing platform. (Case in point here where I stumbled upon the removal of 'viewed' notifications - this was just a few days ago and certainly not the best way to find this important info out).  In that same vein, it would be a good idea to notify your community moderators of these changes before they're released so they, too, are aware and are better equipped to answer our questions instead of initially thinking that there may have been a one-off glitch.  It would also time on everyone's end.  Communication on all sides is key here.
  • Also, I attempted to update my pricing based on your post, but do not have any dropdown selections to choose from nor can I deviate away from an hourly category (which is not how I charge clients).  Has this feature not been rolled out entirely yet?  I am desperate to update this critical pricing information as it's been my biggest gripe since the platform change last year.  I feel that I lost lots of opportunities in recent months based on prospects glancing at my "hourly" rate when it really didn't apply and wasn't accurate on how I charge.  To go from back-to-back hires to practically none remains to be extremely disheartening.  I want to update this ASAP. 😕 How do I move away from hourly pricing?  Please see my screenshot showing what I see:

Screenshot 2019-02-28 23.14.31.png

  • And finally, I'm extremely disappointed about the removal of the 'viewed' notification status.  Really?  I feel that it's completely counterintuitive.  As stated above from other Pros, a prospect that actually views one's quote is lower hanging fruit!!  When I used to get leads left and right, I can't tell you how many new clients I closed because I knew when they viewed my quote and I was able to respond to them right away (and in many cases, this would be a good while after their initial job posting).  This is Sales 101 - taking this ability away from Pros when a prospect at least took a closer look at the profile is not a good move at all.  It's frustrating enough that we have to wait for people to contact us, but now we don't even know if/when they've viewed the quotes we've spent time customizing and sending?  This, too, can be construed as a deceptive practice that prevents us from seeing the low number of prospects actually viewing quotes that we send.  Please bring that feature back so this information can be more transparent.  It's only fair to the Pros.

Thank you,

RCPS

Active Community Member
You pressure us to list pricing, as for me every job is an individual price depending on material and difficulty. So I listed a dollar , now you're punishing me for listing a dollar. Think about this, why would I post what I want to charge for an actual hourly rate, and let all my competition see it? Why would they post it? It makes no sense
Community Expert

@RCPS 

For over 4 months, One of things that I have stressed to Thumbtack is to let us know before any changes are made. Same response for months, "we'll pass that feedback on", but you know what, it didn't happen because changes happened before they told us. So my feedback wasn't passed on.

I have also relied on knowing when customer has viewed my profile. It gave me a way, same as you and other Pros, to reach out to the customer. If they reply back to us, we get charged, so I don't know why that was taken away from us. I was also able to close deals. Customers tell me that they appreciated my contacting them.

And yes, I agree that the moderators should know, along with us, before changes are made. They get the brunt end of the anger when changes are made. At least give them a chance to review changes, same with us, prior to them being implemented.

Who knows if @JasonB and the Moderators will read our comments, and give back the customer viewed quotes. That was a win-win for Pros and Thumbtack, we seal the deal and Thumbtack gets paid. Love to see the response from them now

Active Community Member

I also agree with keeping "the customer has viewed your quote". It is basic sales 101 to follow up with a message and shows that we as a pro are interested in getting their business. Why on earth would you take that away?

Community Expert
@cranichik
I don't see how that is an improvement, as @JasonB thread title suggests. If it is, perhaps he should explain how it is an improvement for us. It was a very useful tool.
Community Expert

@RCPS thanks for taking the time to address these points. The "Specify what’s included in your base prices" update is for any category with add-ons and inclusions. So it would appear that yours is not one that applies. I wanted to also let you know that I've made sure to pass along your urgency in wanting to list your prices by fixed rate instead of hourly. 

Community Expert

Thank you to everyone for sharing your additional feedback and ideas. I've made sure to go through each one of your posts and pass along your thoughts. In particular your sentiment towards knowing when a customer has viewed your offer or message. 

Community Veteran

I want to see when the customer views my offer. Why would this feature be taken away? How does removing this feature help the service pro? I honestly find it hard to believe that service pros out there would have offered their feedback & indicated they don't want to see when a lead views their offer. Make no sense.

Community Veteran

Will we know if a lead has hired a different pro on TT or has that now been removed as part of the February product improvements?

Community Expert

@Hankster 

It looks like the tools that were helping us, are slowly being taken away from us.

Community Expert

@Hankster when a project status has been updated it should reflect for other pros to see and help them know that the lead is closed. 

Community Veteran

@KameronI've submitted over 30 quotes to leads this year. The last one I'm showing that the lead hired a different pro was back on January 9th. So to me either the project status that the lead hired a different pro is no longer being reflected & was phased out as part of the February "improvements" or these leads are using another lead finding service to hire someone. Just sayin'.

Community Veteran

I'm starting to see that @DJStevie Not sure how that improves things for us the service pro but what do I know. 

Community Regular

A number of customers from very far away, even out of state, have asked me "What is your availability?"  I know people are not going to be willing to travel more than 30-45 mins. for a piano or voice lesson.  Are they not able to see where I live on my profile?  Or do you think they're just forgetting to look at that part, or they don't scroll down far enough to see it or something?

Community Expert
@lenaebdgr
I guarantee that the customers aren't reading profiles, just clicking conversation starters, which according to Thumbtack, shows customer is very interested in us.
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks for reaching out @lenaebdgr! Customers do indeed see the pros city on their profile. Keep in mind that if the customer is traveling to you, they're able to indicate how far they're willing to travel. Let us know if you have any other questions. 

Community Expert

@Meckell 

If customers do read our profiles, then they are able to see our cities, pricing, etc..instead of sending us uesless conversation starters asking for estimate, etc.

Community Regular

Thanks.  My MA town may show up on my profile, but clearly people looking for piano or voice lessons are not seeing or paying attention to that, or they wouldn't be asking about lessons when they live in Rhode Island or New Hampshire!!

 

Active Community Member

this borders on the ridiculous...187 miles

Serjio B.

Leeds, NY 12451

 pros responded
 
Description of work??   NONE
You'll only pay if the customer responds. See how much: $25 
 
map.png
 
Community Expert

@AutumnElectric thanks for showing us that example. I've given this to our teams to look into and use to calibrate. 

Community Expert

@lenaebdgr if you're getting contacted by customers that are states away I'd like to take a look at those with you. If you'll send me a direct message with the customer names, we can get started.

Community Regular

OK.  Will see if I can track them down, but seems like you'd be able to see them on your end more easily?  Not sure how long things stay on the site.

 

 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@lenaebdgr if they're customers who've contacted you and you have them in your inbox, they'll stay there forever. We are able to see them from our end, but we do need the name of the customer to make sure we're looking at the correct lead you're referring to. 

Community Veteran

I don't even know how to get to this thread except fro having stumbled upon a link to it in another thread! TT SHOULD BE EMAILING US THESE UPDATES DIRECTLY!!!!

Community Veteran

@DefiningImagery Many of these updates get shared over email or through notifications.  But we thought it would be helpful to consolidate everything in one place.  You'll also start to see this list linked to in the monthly pro newsletter, so look out for it in your inbox every month, too.

Hope that helps!

Community Expert

@JasonB 

When will this email notification take place? And why haven't you answered the questions and comments in this thread? Or at least send an email blast to answer the questions? We take time to reply, as you suggested, but you didn't take time to acknowledge our comments and questions.

Community Veteran

Several comments:

  1. Was this posted in the forum? If so, why is there not a link back to the post? I cannot locate it.
  2. Why are the two new budget questions a hidden mystery? Why did you not tell us what the two questions are?
    1. What are they?
  3. A load of requests was dumped into my inbox at once, last night, and again today. That is HORRENDOUS!!!!
    1. Leads need to be sent in real-time, so we stand a chance of getting back to the people immediately, while they are still on line, rather than hours later. This goes against everything TT touts about getting back to people quickly. Now TT delays the responses for HOURS!!! This causes all of our response times to increase and work against our score!
    2. Leads that come in bulk are very time-consuming to sort through. It's much easier to grab them on-the-fly and take care of them, instead of having to have your schedule interrupted to sit down for an hour and go through and respond to what you want.
    3. VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING THAT WAS SENT CAME FROM OUT OF STATE!!!!!! Why did you send me a ton of leads from PA, CT, MA, DE, and NJ??? That was a complete waste of my time, having to go through them deleting that trash! Geeeez, as I'm writing this, another wedding in NJ just came through!!! DON'T SEND LEADS FOR TERRITORIES WE DO NOT SERVICE!!! WE CLEARLY MARK OUR SERVICE AREAS IN OUR PROFILES!!!

 

This is ridiculous! We come to TT to PAY for leads and you hold them back for hours, not letting us buy them!!! EVERYONE HAS ALWAYS HAD THE OPTION TO TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS!!!!!! THERE IS NO NEED TO HOLD BACK LEADS BECAUSE SOME DON'T WANT THEM! ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS TURN OFF THEIR NOTIFICATIONS AND THE REST OF US 99% WHO WANT TO BE NOTIFIED, CAN BE NOTIFIED!!!!! I DIDN'T TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS, SO KEEP ME NOTIFIED THE SECOND A REQUEST COMES IN!!! I AM A PROFESSIONAL WHO WILL ADDRESS A LEAD IMMEDIATELY, NOT UNPROFESSIONALLY SLOUGH IT OFF!!

Community Regular
Im a DJ on Thumbtack... I follow up on leads for the quotes I sent. You guys took away the option to let a pro know a client viewed our quote. Now I don’t know if I should send a reply or not because I have no clue if I was noticed. Also, I think you guys should have a set minimum price. I think there are DJ’s charging some ridiculously LOW prices, and I’m competing with $100 dj’s. Not fair. That leads to me being charged for someone reaching out to me & no guarantee I’ll get hired - but then the client sees someone charging much less and they get hired. So I lose $$ double time. Fix this, please!
Community Regular
A few suggestions from me and my company.
1. We should be able to keep our reviews and awards when we either move or expand to a new city instead of creating a new profile. It’s extremely unfair to think that we as professionals who take pride in our work will be viewed as just starting out in a new city and NOT provide the same level of amazing service. That helps us grow in a smaller or bigger city we decide to grow in!

2.the pay structure fluctuates for the same job. I literally witnessed me being charged $4.22 then 17.00 for the same job. That was really strange. At the end of the day we’re losing money and thumbtack is still making theres. Please don’t become Home advisor
Community Newcomer
So now I see there is where a customer can list what their budget is. Well they should be able to get DJS according to their specific rates who will accommodate them with their price budget. So a way to sync this. For example if a customer enters a budget of under 300 but according to my price for what they want my rates are higher so I don't get that lead or customer is notified with a pop up or before hand letting them know that that particular djs rates are higher than their entered budget. And give them the option to change it again or keep it the same.
Community Newcomer

I agree with you 100%.

Community Regular
You forgot to mention you doubled your fees
Community Expert

@MeDamian thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas. I'll make sure to forward the idea of pros having a minimum price that's aligned with their category.

Community Expert

@RePestC I can certainly see where you're coming from when it comes to reviews not being carried with you if you have to change locations and will share your feedback on the subject. The cost of a job or lead will vary based on a number of factors, if you'd like me to take a look at the example you've mentioned feel free to send it to me in a direct message to take a closer look. 

Community Expert

@Dvallejo35 I can see how this would make sense in order to help customers understand if their budget is significantly below the pros price that they are attempting to engage with. 

Active Community Member
@Jason B. Hi Jason, hope you are having a great day! I was wondering, has TT thought about maybe trying to separate out job categories? Reading all of the feeds, it is much easier for some to put in direct pricing with others. For instance I am a house cleaner, so my pricing is based on square footage. But say a photographer, or contractor, were supplies, location and different equipment come into play. It is not as easy. Just a thought. I know it would require different algorithms. But maybe worth a shot.
Community Expert

@Wreach thanks for sharing. This is actually something that we currently do and are continuing to do research on and improve per category, as we know each category and business are different. 

Active Community Member
Hi Kameron, I get that. I just noticed as a customer looking for flooring help in my house, pricing was not as accurate. I know it is because of so many different variables. And most are great at giving free estimates... honestly, I believe pros should only be charged for leads if they are hired..
Community Expert

@MeDamian 

I'm a DJ on Thumbtack as well. They took away the customer viewed quote because as @JasonB said, and @Meckell reiterated the other day, "You will no longer be notified when a customer views your offer. Instead, you will receive a notification once the customer reaches out to you. We want to help you focus on your interactions with customers once they contact you, because that’s when you can continue the conversation, seal the deal, and win the job!"

How are we supposed to interact with customers if we don't know when/if our quotes and messages are viewed? We are supposed to focus on replying and communication with customer, but Thumbtack, please answer us..how do we as Pros reach out to a customer if we don't see our quote/message being viewed? Just sit back and wait for a reply that may not come?

And yes, @MeDamian , I agree that we are competing with many DJ's who will do a job for $100-$200. I've seen it in the searches. Ran into a couple of people who hired those DJ's and they said all DJ did was just play from their phones, and not interact with people. I give 100%+ at all of my events, I'm sure that you do as well.  And if I have Promote on, I'm being charged for a conversation starter, and odds are against me getting a booking because of these DJ Wannabees. Also odds are against customer reading our profile in entirety because of the stupid starters they send us (what's your estimate? What's your availability? When can we talk?") They take time to send those, then can take time to read profile and send a personable message. Or maybe they don't have the capability of sending a message. How about giving that option to the customer?

Community Expert

@DefiningImagery 

I'm getting very tired of receiving job leads in a grouped email. Like you said, by the time we receive them, most jobs are taken. I need to see them in real time, not hours after they come in. Case in point, yesterday, I sat by my laptop prepping for events this weekend, and saw jobs come in every time I "refreshed" the browser. I don't have the luxury to sit by my computer/phone 24/7. Who made this decision?

It seems every time they make a so-called improvement, they take away more useful tools from us. Why not ask us what we think before making changes? I would love to know if any Pros suggested this change, as well as customer not viewing our quotes, etc.

Community Veteran

Yup! I'm being innudated with out of state leads in a THREE HUNDRED MILE RADIUS! My service area is 20 miles  north & south by 60 miles east and west! Am I really going to travel 6 hours there, to do a one hour shoot, and travel 6 hours back??? Between gas, tolls, and TT, that's the whole price of the job! But the idea is that since so few leads are coming in, at least if we see a load of irrelevent ones in our inbox, we get the impression that we're recieving things.

Yup, missed out on several that were already bid out by the time I saw them! And I check my phone A LOT!!! It was only a few minutes prior that it had come in, but since there's no notification now, I didn't know it was there and I was too late!

 

Community Regular
@DJStevie

First and foremost, thank you for the reply! These issues really bothers me. I know for a fact many clients aren’t reading our profile. My profile has detailed info on my career and over 50 pics of recent and events that pertain to events I’m bidding for. However some clients still asks questions that can be found on my page. I have to do my due diligence and conduct a research on that! And yes - why ask for a price if I just a sent a quote?!

I had a convo last week with a potential client who wanted to travel to Boston (from NY) for a gig in a bar that didn’t have a soundsystem. The traveling wasn’t the issue, but she asked if I can do it for under $200 because she doesn’t have enough money. I respectfully declined, but was charged $21... Thumbtack needs to monitor these conversations. Why charge me if you can cleary this person claiming they’re broke?!
Active Community Member

Februrary, huh?

Now it's March 17th and no sign of it on my wedding Officiant account...

Community Newcomer

I do not list a price because I have to see a job and spend hours figuring out the quote because there are so many variables. It's like buying a car. You can't get a proce until you know what you want in it.

Is this ok or is there a better response when the customer says they want an estimate, price or just for me to have it listed on my site?

Community Expert

@constructionsup if you truly feel that you cannot list prices that's ok. I'd just explain in your profile to customers more about how your pricing works if you haven't already. If you'd like to promote your business without listing your prices then you can now do so when setting your prices by clicking the "hide prices" button.

Community Expert

@Kameron 

Is this "hide prices" button something new that we weren't told about til now?

Community Regular

And finally, I'm extremely disappointed about the removal of the 'viewed' notification status.  Really?  "think about it, why would they not want you to view that? 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@Ruben Be sure to check out our conversation regarding that update here. You'll be able to get more context as to why that was removed. If you have any suggestions about this, please send them my way.

About the Author
I've been a mobile DJ/MC for 29 years this year. Very proud to say that I turned a hobby into a successful business. I've been a part of many organizations, and played at many weddings through the years, but one very dear to me is being a regular DJ for the Tim Tebow Foundation "Night To Shine". I have my parents and best friend, Tommy who was a monsignor and part of the God Squad who had a weekly radio show on Long Island, to thank for encouraging me to pursue my dream of being a DJ. Even though they aren't here to see me be a part of a high profile event, I know that all 3 are looking down at me, smiling proudly.